Marlborough vs Exeter University 'C' - Marlborough lose 2-1:
After the previous week’s disappointment against a beatable Truro side, Marlborough travelled down to Exeter (Saturday, October 20) in search of their first points of the league knowing that they needed to kick start their campaign.
The game began at a fast pace with both sides utilising the quick, bouncy pitch to good effect to establish their respective rhythms of play. The use of aerial flicks was to prove vital to both teams as the midfields somewhat nullified one another for the opening twenty minutes of play.
Marlborough were pushed on to the back foot and Exeter capitalised on some sharp work in the ‘d’ to win several penalty corners, one of which was converted to give the home side the lead.
In response Marlborough pushed forward with several attacks of their own led by excellent play from centre back Chris Jones and front man Will Hughes. Unfortunately the half ended before Marlborough were able to make their pressure tell but with plenty of encouragement for the second half.
The second half followed much of the same pattern as the first with both teams exchanging attacks but unable to gain any further ground with regards to the score line. The game seemed to be drifting away from Marlborough before, mid way through the half, Will Hughes’ deft pick up and finish under the onrushing goalkeeper levelled the scores at 1-1. A nervy last fifteen minutes ensued with both teams aware that after such a close encounter just one slip could cost them the match.
Unfortunately for Marlborough fortune favoured the home side. After what can only be described as a one off set of deflections and luck, Exeter found themselves 2-1 up with just minutes remaining.
Marlborough pressed hard in the remaining time but despite loading the mid field and attack they were unable to equalise. It was a disappointing result after such an impressive rally, but the game provided plenty of positives to take forward to the next fixture against Swansea.
Marlborough Men’s 1st XI vs Cardiff UWIC Marlborough lose 4-2
Saturday, October 6: After a tough loss the previous week, Marlborough travelled away hoping to replicate their battling performance the previous year in a hard fought game against Cardiff & UWIC.
The game began at a break neck speed with Cardiff dominant and displaying masterful control and passing accuracy on their quick, bouncy pitch. Within minutes they had opened the scoring from a tight angle after a series of shots and defensive clearances.
With Marlborough yet to find their feet in the game, Cardiff pushed on further and soon doubled their lead after a drag flick from a slick short corner routine.
With plenty of time of the first half yet to play Marlborough were in danger of losing the game before it had barely begun. After their shaky start, they settled down to a much better rhythm and began creating chances of their own with good play down both flanks. Unfortunately the finishing ball was not put away and the Cardiff goalkeeper remained untested. However this changed just before half time when Will Seward scored a drag flick from Marlborough’s only shot of the half -cutting the deficit in half.
The second half began in a continuation of much of the first half action with Cardiff enjoying the majority of possession and creating the more open chances. Their quick, decisive play was rewarded with another goal direct from a short corner after a pinpoint drag flick found the bottom right corner. To their credit Marlborough pulled another goal back, somewhat against the run of play, with Seward again the scorer after a goal mouth melee. This led to a rather nervy final few minutes for Cardiff, who were desperate not to surrender their lead.
The result of the game was finally settled after another brilliant drag flick from Cardiff ended Marlborough’s hopes of a comeback. The game ended 4-2 with Cardiff the deserved winners and Marlborough’s Alex Milton voted Man of the Match for great work under constant pressure.
Marlborough Men’s 1st XI vs Truro Marlborough lose 4-1
Saturday, October 13: Despite having yet to register a win this season, Marlborough went into the third game with some confidence against a strong Truro outfit who had won their previous game 5-0. The home game started off evenly with Truro showing no signs of lethargy after their long journey to Marlborough and they soon took the upper hand and started dominating possession and making some sharp attacks down both flanks.
Their efforts were rewarded when they took the lead after a snap shot finish from a tight angle. The lead was soon doubled after some fortuitous play in the ‘d’ allowed the Truro striker an open goal just on the stroke of half time.
The half-time break allowed Marlborough skipper, Rich Holman, to rally his troops in an attempt to mount a comeback. Marlborough started the second half brightly and as the game became stretched due to fatigue, had several chances of their own but unfortunately were unable to convert them. Truro pressed their advantage home and with further sharp work up front made the score 3-0 before ending any hopes of a Marlborough comeback with a fourth.
To their credit Marlborough continued to press forward without giving up and were awarded a penalty flick after Holman had a shot illegally stopped on the line. Anil Sud converted to make the score 4-1 with two minutes remaining. The last couple of minutes were played out with both sides scrapping for the ball in midfield leaving the final result a 4-1 win for the visiting side.